In 1994 Bruichladdich was closed – it remained silent until 2001 when a group of Islay landowners (Murray McDavid) reopened it. That means this Bruichladdich Black Art 7.1 was distilled at a rather crucial point in time.
Black Art has been a series of ‘dark science’, with some unique recipes of different cask types and finishes. For this release all they want to say is “only Adam knows”. That’s Adam Hannett, the head distiller.
Bruichladdich ‘Black Art 7.1’ 25 yo 1994 (48,4%, OB 2019, 12.000 btl.)
Nose: aromatic but also delicately layered, with hints of raspberry jam, violets, blood oranges and poached pears. Rosewater lokum. Walnuts, a little vanilla cake, whiffs of sour chutney and juicy berries. Moist tobacco leaves. There’s a slightly winey / brandy-like touch, but overall it offers lots of fun.
Mouth: dark and spicy. I get blackberries, cherries and citrus, as well as honey and firmly bitter herbal tea, or even hints of vermouth or Fernet Branca. Cassia bark. Toasted oak, cinnamon, orange peel. Hints of salted lemons and liquorice roots.
Finish: quite long, oaky, with leathery notes, salted nuts and a coastal edge.
There’s surely some fortified wine involved here, but it’s hard to say which one. It’s quite special, with an above-average complexity and some unique flavours. Quite intruiging. Still available from The Whisky Exchange or Tyndrum Whisky for instance.